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Salem Village Witchcraft: Mrs. Elizabeth Howe’s Trial

A woman accused. A family destroyed.

They came for her on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, May 29, 1692. The brisk rap upon the door of the Ipswich farm took the family by surprise. The constable came with signed orders for her areest. They took her from her husband and children, and charged her as a witch. Her accusers, Mary Walcott and Abigail Williams, fell down and cried out when Mrs. Howe appeared in court. They were pinched and pricked, they screamed, while in her presence. She was taken from the court room to be held in a dank prison awaiting trial. Here within is the story of the trial of Mrs. Elizabeth Howe, newly published with translations of the trial transcripts for modern readers. ​

​Martin Van Buren Perley was a noted educator, ​historian, genealogist, author, and publisher. He  ​was born in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1835. Most  ​of his research focused on the New England area  ​and the early families of that region. His well- ​researched and valuable body of work continues  ​to be studied by modern day genealogists and  ​historians. ​ ​He is related to Samuel Perley, one of Elizabeth  ​Howe’s accusers in the witchcraft trials of 1692,  ​and a relative of Thomas Perley, one of the jurors. He died in 1926 and is buried in the Old Linebrook Cemetery in Ipswich.